The Box

In March of 2010, I attended an estate sale and found a box of old video tapes and film. It was stuck back on a shelf in a storage closet next to a stack of medical binders and several boxes of papers and photos. I'm into vintage audio and video and always look for old recorders and tape at garage sales and swap meets. The company doing the estate sale didn't know anything about the box or about the owners of the house. I picked up the box and an old looking beer stein for $10 for everything. (Now I wish I had picked up the other stuff too.)

The box contained 13 beta tapes, 7 1" Umatic-style tapes, 8 small reels of film and one large reel of film. I think it's 8mm, but I don't know that much about it. And there were also 3 reels of audio tape. And there were a couple of photos and paperwork that looked like inventory documents, but with no details about where the material had come from. I had intended to wipe the tapes and use them for some of my video projects, but I figured I'd see what was on them first.

One of the photos. Her parents maybe?
Most of the tapes were numbered and labeled "Anneliese 1976," and some with "CCG" added underneath. Two were unlabeled, and one said "Gruber." The first couple of tapes were nothing special. There was quite a bit of boring stuff with a nerdy guy talking into the camera about studies and subjects and clinical trials. I fast-forwarded through most of it. But on the third tape, as I was zooming by some travel stuff (looked like Scandanavia or something) and I tripped out on this freaky looking girl in her pajamas. She was staring through the fast-forwarding like she was looking at me. She was in most of other tapes. She looked sick and all of the footage was indoors and mostly in bed. There were doctors and priests around. It looked like some sort of ritual was going on, but it also looked like some sort of experiment or something, because there was quite a bit of recording gear there.

I really got sucked in and watched all of the tapes over the course of a couple of days. Some of the episodes were violent and really weird. After watching all of the footage, it was clear from the video that this was a girl who was either possessed or having seizures and her family, her priests and these two doctors were trying to help her.

I listed to the audio tapes next. They seemed to be sound recordings for a lot of the same things I saw on the video tape. Turns out they were sound recordings for the 16mm film in the box. I had a buddy of mine transfer the film to video and add the sound from the tapes. I will post some of that as I can get it done.

I Googled on "Anneliese" and found lots of stuff about a girl named Anneliese Michel who underwent more than 70 exorcisms back in the 70s. I'm pretty sure this is her. I don't know if these are old copies of stuff that's already out there. I'm trying to contact people who know more about it and maybe find someone who wants to buy the footage.

If you are interested or know more about it, please e-mail me or leave comments on this blog.